If you have noticed, I don’t get to regularly post on this blog anymore. This is because I have been very busy with work lately and I have not been traveling much as well.
To be honest with you, I’m on my 18th week of pregnancy right now (Yes! I’m preggy!), which is why I needed to be extra careful when choosing a destination to travel to. Don’t worry guys, I would never ever convert my blog into a “pregnancy / mommy blog” or flood my FB Page with baby photos. Uh Duh. I value my baby’s privacy.
If you remember my post about my post visiting Hakone, specifically The Little Prince Museum, that’s when I found out that I easily get tired due to my pregnancy. Mind you, it was a small museum. That’s why travel activities that require strenuous efforts such as hiking and a lot of walking were already crossed out of my travel plans. For now…
So where I’ve been really lately?
September 2015: Tokyo Game Show & Philippine Festival
Tokyo Game Show 2015
The venue for the Tokyo Game Show 2015 was in Makuhari Messe Hall in Chiba. It was a 2.5-hour train ride. For our convenience, I booked an affordable hotel in Ikebukuro for a night when we get back from Chiba. It is also for my husband, Eric, since he has a rugby game the next day. That way, it would save him travel time and energy instead of going back and forth from our place. It was Sakura Hostel and we loved how it is in the heart of Ikebukuro, where a lot of good restaurants were situated.
The Tokyo Game Show was the event that my husband looked forward to for this year. He bought two tickets online a month before the event and was very excited about it. He recalled that the last time he attended the event was when he first got to Japan back in 2009.
We exited at Kaihim Makuhari Station after an almost 2.5-hour train travel. At the station’s exit, we already saw the sudden flock of people going to the event. Some were even dressed up as cosplayers to join the event. My husband and I were extra careful as I was already 8 weeks pregnant that time. We first had lunch at a burger joint near the station before we headed to the Makuhari Messe Hall, where the Tokyo Game Show was.
It was merely a 10-minute walk from the station. Then, we got lost at the center of the event hall since there were no clear directions pointing you towards the ticket entrance. We spent the first 30 minutes walking around in circles just looking for the entrance. Later, we found out that we had to walk for another 6 minutes outside the hall to get to the main entrance. English signs were nowhere to be seen in the first place. Clearly, this event wasn’t foreigner friendly.
We visited the main hall first where exhibitors like Sega, Square Enix, PlayStation, and other Japanese gaming industry showcased their upcoming games by giving the visitors preview and experience demos. We received freebies like large plastic bags with gaming posters and stuff upon entrance.
My husband got to try the Playstation VR or virtual reality headset which will soon hit the market. There was an extremely long line and he wasn’t able to get a spot for me. I gave up the Playstation demo. Instead, I walked around while waiting for my husband who religiously waited in line for his turn to try the Playstation VR.
I felt like I was back in high school when I explored the entire hall. I used to be one of those gamers who was addicted to video games. Counter Strike, Red Alert, Battle Realms, Age of Empire and Final Fantasy specifically. My addiction to Final Fantasy led me to fan art and media forums and interact with fellow fanatics who were very good in making fan arts.
Later on, I decided to quit playing video games to learn Photoshop and animated GIFs for the forum. Ah. The good old dork days!
Let’s move on.
After a while my husband came back from the Playstation VR and said it was awesome. He even got interviewed by some TV channel. I bet he’s really looking forward to getting the VR once Playstation releases it.
The next hall was all about Indie Games. There were Indie Game Developers from different parts of the country like Malaysia, Thailand, and Philippines. There, I suddenly missed my brother who developed the first Filipino MMORPG game on Facebook called Pacifica Online.
I wonder how they are doing now? I heard that they are still developing an app for Apple.
All in all, we spent half of the day in this event and it was fun.
Yoyogi Philippine Festival
The next day, we checked out early from the hotel so we could see the Philippine Festival in Yoyogi Park before my husband headed to his Rugby Game. Although it was noon and scorching hot, we enjoyed walking around looking for Filipino food for lunch.
The food we had wasn’t particularly great. The food stalls just started to open when we arrived. Some of the concessionaires were still preparing different Filipino favorites like lumpiang shanghai or fried spring roll and chicken barbecue. So, we only bought what’s available on the food display.
We only spent a little time in the Yoyogi Philippine Festival because I was already getting tired and my stomach felt funny. My husband and I parted ways as he went to the Rugby game while I went home. Unfortunately, when I got back, I forgot that my husband had the damn house key! UGH. My stomach.
I took the bus ride again and went to the nearest mall just to use the toilet and shit. Imagine, from Yoyogi Park to our house, I held it in for an hour and a half. It was a great feeling afterwards!
October 2015: Miraikan Musuem
I met up with my friend, Darwin, who was on a business trip. His company sent him to Tokyo to do a presentation in Miraikan Museum. He stayed at a business hotel near the vicinity of the Miraikan. He’s already packed and ready to leave but got two tickets to the museum. He said he wanted to visit the it one more time and he didn’t want the other ticket to go to waste that’s why he invited me there.
Since the museum is located in Odaiba, I had to wake up early as it was an hour and a half away from our place. The long and quiet train ride ahead helped me relax and nap from time to time. I didn’t bother checking out the scene while I was in the Yurikamome Line as I’ve been to Odaibe several times.
When I finally got to the meeting station, I saw him at a convenience store. There we greeted each other with hugs and exchanged stories. He looked skinnier compared to the last time I saw him. It was a very exciting moment because we haven’t seen each other for like 3 years? OMG.
As we walked to the Miraikan Museum, I was fascinated by its appearance. It was a 5-storey building made with walls of glass and steel. It looked like a giant aquarium that was pulled from the future and sent to the present.
When we got closer to the entrance, we noticed a copious amount of preschoolers going inside so I assumed it was part of their science school trip. Even though the museum was populated with school kids, the atmosphere was still maintained because of the discipline that these kids showed.
Before we toured the museum, we had lunch first and I got the chance to meet two of his colleagues that he met during his presentation. At 12:30 p.m., we went inside and started from the 5th floor and moved down towards the 1st floor.
I loved the concept of this museum. The booths on the 5th floor are mainly catered to kids. Clearly, this museum wants to open the minds of our younger generation to help them understand the things happening in our world today such as global warming and the degradation of our natural resources from a scientific point of view.
November 2015: Kamakura
Last month, I also met up with an old blogger friend, Robbie, in Yokohama Station and he stayed for a couple of nights at our place. I missed this talented friend of mine. As we reminisced about our traveling days together, we realized that lots has changed on how we travel since then, that travel can become very exhausting when you’re almost in your 30s (Yes, no hiding the age here).
I cooked tosilog (or tocino, fried rice, and eggs) for him since he told me that he has been eating onigiri for breakfast. He also said he already missed Filipino food after staying in Japan for a week. After breakfast, my husband and I joined him to explore Kamakura and saw the Great Buddha and Hasedera Temple.
The last time I was here was a year ago with my mother and brother. My second time around wasn’t particularly alluring anymore as I have seen everything at this place. But there’s one thing I love about going here. The shops and restaurants around it. We tried the Kebab on our way to the Great Buddha. The food wasn’t particularly great but because the owner was very welcoming and amusing, it added an extra flavor to the food.
That night, we went to a cheap but nice karaoke place near our house just to have fun as it was Robbie’s last night with us. My husband and I were also very thankful that he graciously accepted our invitation to come to our place again and join us for Thanksgiving dinner! Thank you, Robbie!
There you go! Those were my whereabouts! I just put it up as one post because I didn’t feel like doing a blog post for each as these endeavors were somehow connected to each other.
I don’t really have solid travel plans yet but just so you know, I am finally on vacation from work and I look forward to seeing the beautiful koyo or autumn colors around Tokyo. I’ve been reading the news lately about autumn leaves this year in Japan and according to news reports, leaves will change color late this year.
On December 10th, on the other hand, my sister and his boyfriend will also visit me in Japan for some sightseeing and to help us put up the Christmas tree.
How about you? Where have you been lately?!